STORRS, Conn. – Sophomore Charlotte Veitner (Dusseldorf, Germany) posted her fourth hat trick of the 2015 season to push the No. 1 University of Connecticut field hockey team past California, 10-0, on Sunday afternoon at the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex. With the victory, the Huskies improve to 9-0 and extend their 23-game winning streak, dating back to last season, while the Golden Bears fall to 6-4.
Connecticut dominated on both sides of the field, tallying 29 shots and 13 penalty corners while holding California to a single penalty corner and two shots, both of which came in the first half.
To start things off, senior Roisin Upton (Limerick, England) powered the ball from midfield down to a sprinting Veitner as she cut around the Bears defense. Veitner successfully lured California’s goalie Kori Griswold out of the cage before dribbling around her and giving UConn a 1-0 lead.
After Veitner took the penalty corner, junior Anna Middendorf (Bremen, Germany) received the ball at the top of the circle and slapped one towards goal. Senior Mckenzie Townsend (Harpursville, N.Y.) was positioned perfectly as she clipped the ball past the keeper’s shoulder for the score. Just two minutes later, Veitner fired back-to-back shots at close range into the goalies’ shin before catching her own rebound and sending it flying into the cage.
UConn capitalized on a penalty corner when Veitner put the ball into play to graduate student Pippa Lewis (Malvern, England), who executed the stick-stop and stepped back as Upton sent a shot soaring past the net-minder’s head into the top right of the net for the Huskies to head into halftime with a 4-0 advantage.
Coming back from the intermission, Upton and Veitner teamed up again as Upton slapped the ball towards goal and Veitner cut in from the left side to tip it in to complete her hat trick. Four minutes later with 45:45 on the clock, sophomore Casey Umstead (Sellersville, Pa.) was swarmed by California defenders but quickly dodge around them, coming face-to-face with the Griswold. Umstead was able to dribble around the goalkeeper before falling to her knees and sending in a shot from the ground.
Freshman Amelia Iacobucci (Malvern, Pa.) led classmate Amanda Collins (Binghamton, N.Y.) perfectly to the ball with a beautiful cross that Collins picked up and flicked into the cage. A minute later, Lewis added a goal of her own after catching a deflected shot and sending it into the back of the net.
Veitner helped senior Sophie Bowden (Somerset, England) score when she dribbled around Griswold and popped the ball in the air, which Bowden tipped in.
Upton made sure UConn’s final penalty corner counted. Junior Olivia Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.) inserted the ball into classmate Darby Smith (Sussex, N.J.). Smith stopped the ball at the top of the circle and Upton pulled back to launch a scorcher by the goalie.
The Huskies have restricted each of its opponents to a scoreless first half, with California becoming the fifth team that they have shutout this season. Connecticut has outshot its foes by a 199-to-42 margin.
UConn concludes its homestand when it opens Big East Conference play against Villanova on Saturday, Oct. 3 at noon.
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